Have you ever read a review of a book or movie to discover that they should have prefaced their comments with the warning: spoiler alert! It just seems that when the mystery is revealed the plot takes a huge hit. Paul’s discussion of a mystery in this chapter is sort of spoiled because we already knew that God had opened His grace to us (we knew John 3 long before Ephesians 3). Therefore, it is so tempting for us to just cruise by this section since it is no real mystery to us. However, think about what Paul is saying about this, it “was not made known to the sons of men in other generations” and it was “hidden for ages in God who created all things.” God had not revealed throughout His previous revelation that His eternal plan was “that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” Since Genesis 12 there had been a distinction and grace was extended to the Gentiles only as a concession. Now Paul is celebrating that this is the “new normal” in God’s grace. Or more accurately, this is the church! In the grand scheme of God’s plan the church emerges as the mystery. Its formulation, foundation and function are all dependent upon the grace of God. The chapter ends with a chorus of praise by Paul (a doxology of sort). What is God’s desire for His church? That we be powered by the Spirit, rooted and grounded in love, and filled with the fullness of God! Closing thought is in verse 20 – God is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think – and this should be no mystery to those who walk with Him.
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